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podcast (en) – omega tau science & engineering podcast

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[This is the feed of only English episodes.] How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced 300 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.

[This is the feed of only English episodes.] How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced 300 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.
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United States

Description:

[This is the feed of only English episodes.] How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced 300 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.

Language:

English


Episodes

292 – Gene Editing with CRISPR/Cas

9/14/2018
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CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences in bacteria and archaea that are a part of these organisms' cellular defense system. A recent discovery showed how this mechanism can be used to edit genes much more easily than legacy methods. In this episode I chat with Sam Sternberg about the naturally occuring CRISPR systems, how they work, and how CRISPR together with its associated enzymes can be used to cut, and subsequently, edit, DNA. We conclude the episode with an outlook on the potential use in...

Duration:01:31:34

291 – Flying in the Papuan Bush

8/31/2018
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I chat with Daniel Geaslen about bush flying. His (at this time, former) job is to fly Kodiak turbo props for Mission Aviation Fellowship in Papua Indonesia, supplying remote villages. We cover the airplane, the missions, as well as the flying itself, with a particular focus on weather and challenging airfields.

Duration:01:44:05

290 – Langs Biogas-Kraftwerk

8/17/2018
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Vor ein paar Wochen habe ich Ernst-Günther und Matthias Lang auf ihrem Hof und Biogas-Kraftwerk besucht. Wir haben uns unterhalten über den Verarbeitungs- und Energiegewinnungsprozess, die Integration und Synergien mit der Landwirtschaft sowie Aspekte der Wirtschaftlichkeit und der Unterstützung erneuerbarer Energien in Deutschland generell.

Duration:02:09:19

289 – Music Production at Sandlane Studios

8/1/2018
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A few years ago, I interviewed Arjen Lucassen about his wonderful music and how he makes it; obviously, I am a big fan! Recently, his Ayreon universe was performed live on stage and I was blown away. I decided I had to talk the the guy behind the live shows, Joost van den Broek. Luckily he agreed. So I visited him in his studios and we talked about music production and arrangement in general, and specifically for the Ayreon live shows.

Duration:02:06:54

288 – Flight Research at NASA Armstrong, Part 3: Historic

7/17/2018
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In this episode I talk with NASA Armstrong's chief scientist Al Bowers about the research projects he has been involved in during his long career at NASA. We cover deep stall research with a Schweizer sailplane, high-alpha flight and thrust vectoring with the X-29, X-31 and F-18 HARV, aero-tow of fast jets with the F-106, supercritical wings with the F-8, as well as space related projects using the SR-71 and the X-30. This is one of my favourite episodes of all time, since it is a bit of...

Duration:03:00:26

286 – Software Analog Effects

6/21/2018
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Effects devices are essential for electric guitars and keyboards because they shape sound and make it interesting; many classic devices exist. However, those are rare and/or expensive, plus, even if they are not, carrying them around on a tour costs money. This is why these hardware devices are simulated in software, and distributed as plugins for audio software. Native Instruments is a manufacturer of such software analog effects packages. In this episode I chat with one of their engineers,...

Duration:02:04:24

285 – Superconductivity

6/8/2018
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Superconductivity, the ability of a material to carry electrical current with zero resistance, is a surprising property of nature, which man has been able to exploit in many ways, in particular, for high-performance magnets. Those are used in magnetic resonance imagers, but also in colliders and fusion reactors. In this episode we discuss the basics of superconductivity and its uses with Pierre Bauer, a superconductor engineer at ITER.

Duration:02:50:49

283 – The Perlan Project

5/10/2018
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The Perlan Project aims to fly gliders into the stratosphere by exploiting mountain waves in order to better understand those waves and to explore the edge of what gliders can do. In fact, last September, they broke the world altitude record for gliders. In this episode we chat about the project, the airplane and the flying with engineer Lars Bensch and pilot Jim Payne.

Duration:01:51:19

279 – Microgravity Research at ZARM Drop Tower

3/10/2018
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During our tour NorthWest 2017 I visited the drop tower at Uni Bremen's ZARM and talked with Martin Castillo, the head of material science at the facility. We discussed the basics of microgravity research, the technical aspects of the tower, how to set up experiments, and also about his particular work in material science.

Duration:01:46:56

277 – Life and Work on HMS Enterprise

2/7/2018
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In December 2017 I had the opportunity to spend a few days on board the Royal Navy's HMS Enterprise on her trip from Limassol, Cyprus to Valetta, Malta. HMS Enterprise is a survey ship, her primary task is to map the sea floor using sonar and feed the data into civilian and military maps. In this detailed episode, we chat about the ship, its mission, the survey equipment, the technical aspects of the propulsion and systems, plus about life on board a ship and nautical issues in general.

Duration:08:03:42

276 – Linguistics, Conlangers and Game Of Thrones’ Dothraki

1/17/2018
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Conlangers are people who design human languages, either just for fun or for use in works of fiction, often TV series or movies. My guest, David Peterson, has designed several languages, including the the Dothraki language featured prominently in Game Of Thrones. In this episode we use Dothraki (and English, and a bit of German) to introduce the basics of linguistics, i.e., the science behind natural (and in this case, designed) languages. We also discuss a few specific of Dothraki, and how...

Duration:02:11:47

274 – The Shuttle’s Achievements for Space Exploration

12/25/2017
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This episode is a continuation of the two previous episodes (132, 133) with Davide on the Space Shuttle. Based on his new, second book we talk about the contributions the Space Shuttle made to space exploration in general. These include advances in space suits, the construction of the ISS, satellite servicing, its use as a science platform as well as military operations.

Duration:02:19:45

270 – Nuclear Weapons

11/26/2017
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In this episode we chat about the science and engineering involved in nuclear weapons. Our guest is Alex Wellerstein of the Stevens Institute of Technology. We talk about atomic bombs as well as hydrogen bombs, how to refine the necessary fuels as well as a little bit of history.

Duration:02:31:06

267 – The Quantum Tron UAV

10/22/2017
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Quantum Systems designs, builds and sells unmanned air vehicles for professional use. Their particular specialty is VTOL designs, i.e., UAVs that take off and land vertically, but then switch to airplane mode for airplane-like speed and range. In this episode we chat with Quantum's CEO Florian Seibel about their primary drone, the Tron. We focus on the motivation for developing the aircraft, the use cases, as well as design decisions and technical aspects.

Duration:01:50:33

266 – Secondary Surveillance Radar

10/13/2017
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Secondary surveillance radar (SSR) is the radar technology used in aviation to query transponders; it forms the backbone of today's air traffic control infrastructure. Our guest in this episode is Mike Sharples who has been part of the development of the technology and is intimately familiar with the details. We discuss the importance of SSR today, the details of the protocol, the difference between and evolution from Mode A/C to S as well as the relationship to ADS-B.

Duration:02:14:46

258 – The History and Technology of Spy Satellites

7/28/2017
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In this episode we speak with David Baker, who wrote a fascinating book about spy satellites. We cover the political and military context that drove their development, their (known and suspected) capabilities, methods of recovering the images, as well as typical orbits and the sartellites' ability to change that orbit for quick repositioning.

Duration:02:05:53

257 – Flight Research at NASA Armstrong, Part 2: Fullscale

7/21/2017
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As part of my trip to the US earlier this year I visited NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. I conducted six interviews over two days, those concerning full scale ("real") aircraft are in this episode. We start out with Kevin Weinert, with whom we talk about the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge project, essentially a flap made of flexible materials to save fuel and reduce noise. Next up is Jim Less, one of NASA's F-15 and F-18 pilots; we chat about his flying...

Duration:02:56:47

256 – Flight Research at NASA Armstrong, Part 1: Subscale

7/16/2017
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As part of my trip to the US earlier this year I visited NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. I conducted six interviews over two days, the ones concerning subscale research (i.e., on model airplanes) are in this episode. We start with a conversation about flying wings in general and Prandtl-D in particular with Armstrong's Chief Scientist Al Bowers. Next, we chat about flutter research and the X-56 with project lead Cheng Moua. Finally, we talk to Matt Moholt...

Duration:01:59:49

255 – Aerial Refueling with the KDC-10

7/8/2017
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In late March 2017 I was participating in the media day of the European Air Refuelling Training Exercise, organized by the European Air Transport Command headquartered in Eindhoven. While the planned flight on the Dutch KDC-10 did not work our for technical reasons, I recorded a follow-up interview with tanker captain Martin and boom operator Louis. We discussed a number of details around air-to-air refuelling in general and the KDC-10 in particular. The episode begins with an overview of...

Duration:01:09:22

252 – Red Flag

6/17/2017
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On the second day of my visit to Nellis AFB we covered the Red Flag, an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at multiple times per year at Nellis. We started out with a general overview with Jan Stahl; we also covered the role of the aggressors. I then talked with John Traylor who works as a ground intercept controller for the aggressors. Next is a conversation with Graham Johnson about Red Flag from the perspective of a blue force participant; he flies an F-15C out of Lakenheath....

Duration:03:09:48